Community Relations is hosting a Toys for Tots Toy Drive in the Downtown Disney® District now through Dec. 9. This coming Saturday, from noon – 5 p.m., Anaheim Fire Fighters and U.S. Marines will be near the Main Stage collecting toys.
Special Note: Guests that donate a toy on Dec. 8 between the hours of Noon and 5pm will receive a $5 game card valid for the ESPN Zone sports arena.
The Walt Disney Company’s legacy of charitable giving started with its founders. Under Walt and Roy Disney, relationships were formed with Boys Clubs of America, now known as the Boys and Girls Clubs of America, as well as the U.S. Marine Corps’ Toys for Tots program, nearly 60 years ago. Walt also gave financial support to St. Joseph’s Hospital, across the street from the studio, and even had Disney Legend Mary Blair create the Disney murals to decorate the hospital’s children’s wing.
In the early days, much of the work was handled by Walt’s secretaries. Most of the donations focused on supporting charities dedicated to helping children in need, a focus that the company still holds. Over the years, different charitable initiatives started in the company’s various business units, with some eventually expanding company-wide. For example, the Disneyland Community Action Team program started as a joint initiative between the Disneyland Cast Activities and Human Resources groups back in 1983. The program’s popularity with employees and positive reception in the community led it to eventually grow into the corporate-wide VoluntEARS program.
Written by Mark Goldhaber.